Dr. Janet Leasher is a Professor and Director of Community Outreach at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University College of Optometry in 1986. In 1999, she received her Masters in Public Health in International Health and Development from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She is a 2007 Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and in 2017 became a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Practice in Optometry.
Dr. Leasher spearheads community health education and promotion projects in visual health for the College. Current teaching assignments in the Doctor of Optometry program include public health didactic courses in community health promotion, health systems, policy, economics and ethics. She is a clinical preceptor for third year students in primary care, pediatric and binocular vision clinics. She is also faculty in the Master of Science Clinical Vision Research program and holds a faculty appointment within the Public Health program of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Her research interests surround program evaluation, global epidemiology, and global access to quality vision care, and she published 75+ papers in these areas. Since 2007, she serves as the regional coordinator for the Americas in the Vision Loss Expert Group for the Global Burden of Disease, Risk Factors and Injuries 2010 Study continuing through the 2020 updates.
She currently serves the National Eye Institute as a planning committee member for the National Eye Health Education Program and the strategic planning task force for public health research priorities. Her service to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry includes the Public Health Educators SIG, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion SIG, International Optometric Educator Committee and SIG, the Ethics SIG, the Cultural Competency Curriculum Workshop Task Force and as a cultural competency trainer. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Optometry, the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the World Council of Optometry. She previously served on the International Agency to Prevent Blindness Council of Members and as the North American Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair in Visual Health and Development.